About Our Subject
At OWS School we aim to inspire and nurture appreciation of our shared past. Students will build their understanding of the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from Bridgnorth’s Saxon origins to the modern age. This is our history studied in a local, national and international context. Students will have the opportunity to investigate key individuals and events that have shaped our nation’s story, as well as building their understanding of how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world. It is important that students grow to appreciate the link between the past and the present with current events being understood in the context of their history. Controversial issues today, such as Britain’s colonial past are explored to help students to understand the attitudes and divides that are a legacy of empire. In History lessons students will hear a range of voices from the past, so that they learn from the diverse experiences of people from different backgrounds, religions and races.
Opportunities to consider the histories of different global civilisations and countries are embedded in the schemes of work for all key stages. As is a range of different types of history, including political, social and cultural themes.
Over time our young historians will gain experience of key historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives.
An essential historical skill is the ability to analyse sources and we will work to develop appreciation of the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used to support interpretations and why contrasting views of the past have been constructed. We believe it is important that our young historians become independent and critical learners able to not only study the past but also understand the process by which we uncover reliable facts and evidence. In so doing students will feel confident to challenge inaccurate narratives and ‘fake news’ in an information rich age.
At KS4 students can opt to study Edexcel GCSE (9-1) History and this has proven to be a very popular and highly successful option choice over many years. This course fits with the department’s commitment to providing a varied historical education, with diverse units being studied including ‘Medicine in Britain 1250-present’, The American West 1835-1895, Anglo-Saxon and Norman England 1060-88 and Weimar and Nazi Germany 1919-39. The department also offers OCR A Level History, enabling OWS students to study with us throughout KS3, 4 and 5, as well as being an option for students in the wider community. The diversity of study units at KS5 also adds to the variety of the history offer at OWS.
History prepares students for their onward study or employment by developing key skills such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, creativity and resilience. The department is committed to ensuring that all students achieve their potential and develop a love of history, that will last them a lifetime.
Ensuring Diversity at Key Stage 3:
All students have the opportunity to:
- Consider the varied experiences of groups, genders, races and religions within Britain, this includes the lives of women throughout time and the fight for political rights, religious intolerance and anti-Semitism during the Middle Ages, the Black Tudors, the trade in enslaved Africans and 20th Century Migration.
- Evaluate Britain’s wider role in the world, including the impact of trade, empire and war.
- Make comparisons between Britain and other world cultures such as the Ottoman Empire, The Moghul Empire and Renaissance Italy.
- Use thematic enquiry sheets to structure their own independent research into other world cultures – ‘Elsewhere in the world at the time’ tasks.
- Extend their understanding of history that traditionally has been neglected by the mainstream narrative during themed months. Whole school home learning activities set for the months that focus on Black History, Remembrance Day, Holocaust Memorial Day, Women’s History, Disability awareness and LGBTQ+.
- The Holocaust
Local History at Key Stage 3
All students have the opportunity to study local history:
- Saxon Bridgnorth and Ethelfleda
- Bridgnorth Castle – The Middle Ages and the English Civil War
- Religion in the Middle Ages - Wenlock Priory and Buildwas Abbey
- The Domesday Book and the Marcher Earldoms
- The Princes in the Tower – Ludlow
- Mining during the Industrial Revolution – Highley
- Shropshire soldiers in World War I
History Skills and Processes:
Throughout Key stages 3, 4 and 5 students will develop the following skills:
- Source use
- Change over time